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Censorship The Internet Your Rights Online

'Extreme' Web Sites Under Fire From UK Police 1154

An anonymous reader writes "A conference on electronic crime, taking place in London this week, has thrown up some interesting news. Britain's top hi-tech police officer has demanded a crackdown on Web sites devoted to 'abhorrent' subjects such as cannibalism and necrophilia. What happened to freedom of expression online?"
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'Extreme' Web Sites Under Fire From UK Police

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:29AM (#8386177)
    When cannibalism is outlawed, only outlaws will be cannibals!

  • by cookiej ( 136023 ) * on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:30AM (#8386186)
    I especially liked the cannibalism article that linked off this one -- and ended with:

    "Meiwes made a video of the event, which was shown to the court during a closed session. He could be released early for good behaviour."

    I assume good behaviour would be that he kept his napkin in his lap next time.
  • uh... (Score:5, Funny)

    by borgdows ( 599861 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:31AM (#8386207)
    I want to judge by myself...

    Can you post the URL of the 'abhorrent' sites please? :p

  • IF it's illegal... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:31AM (#8386208)
    IF (and only IF) it's illegal and/or incites to commit illegal acts, then good riddance.

    Freedom of expression is not freedom from responsibility.

    And sadly, it's clearly not freedom from stupidity either.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:36AM (#8386283)
      And who decides whether something "incites [people] to commit illegal acts" or not?

      Many people argue that everything from violent video games to Harry Potter causes people/children to commit illegal acts. Where do we draw the line, exactly, if not at no censorship at all?
      • by dave420-2 ( 748377 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:50AM (#8386529)
        When something expressly incites people.

        People who say things like "Harry Potter/GTA/Something incited my kid to kill our hamster" are clutching at straws - that's not the issue, and they know it. If, however, Harry Potter featured a scene where he addressed the camera and told people how to eat hamsters, why it's good fun to do so, and asked us to follow in his footsteps, that would be incitement. That's what needs addressing. It's one thing to claim something incites, but unless it expressly does, it's a matter of opinion.

        • by mangu ( 126918 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @12:07PM (#8386795)
          If, however, Harry Potter featured a scene where he addressed the camera and told people how to eat hamsters, why it's good fun to do so, and asked us to follow in his footsteps, that would be incitement.

          Yes, indeed, we always do anything we are told, don't we. At least, marketeers and politicians *wish* we behaved like that. Let's get real, folks. If someone is in his right mind, no matter how much "incitement" he gets, he will not perform such acts as cannibalism or necrophilia. OTOH, a deranged person needs no incitement to behave in a crazy way. There may be some correlation, of course. It's only natural that a person with cannibalistic or necrophiliac tendencies watch sites with those contents, but that's very far from proving a cause-and-effect relation.

      • by TyrranzzX ( 617713 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @12:22PM (#8387001) Journal
        When there's a widespread problem caused by that something; a relation between it's existance and certain acts.

        For example, a pedophilia UBB. People will talk privatly about screwing kids, give eachother techniques, encouragement, images and art, etc. Even among this class of social scum, there's certain guidelines and problems (even common ones) that are discussed.

        Necrophilia and Canniblism, on the other hand, are differnet subjects entirely, but the same rules apply.

        The point here is, the goverment wants to discourage these acts because they are wrong, but in order to discourage them they must trample over civil rights and our right to screw ourselves up. They think the sick fucks who like jackin off to art (not pictures of, art) of little kids getting screwed will turn into them actually doing it. It's akin to thinking because millions of geeks jack off to porn, and because when you jack off to porn you're inherently violating the target without their permission, that geeks will rape people. Infact, most geeks use porn as an outlet for sexual tension, therefore relieving the very need for sex, and therefore, rape. All of these are preversions of sexuality, and are bad in some way or another; cannibalism is an antisocial practice as well as one that gets you to kill people(or get yourself killed by being eaten), necrophelia is a practice that gets you to go out and poison your body by screwing dead people, etc. As far as having effects on other unconsenting, this is where 2 groups of people emerge.

        There's a difference between the sick fuck who jacks off to art of kids getting screwed, and the sick fuck who goes out and does it or encourages it(financially or otherwise). One is actually hurting someone, the other isn't. In addition, the one who jacks off to art only probably knows it's a bad thing, and some of them probably hate themselves for doing it. Yes, there is some interleave (the artist may be screwing kids for inspiration), but you simply don't persecute people for doing something with themselves that has no effect or a tolerable effect on you.

        What's probably going on is someone somewhere decided they felt threatened by the very existance of non-violent necropheliacs or cannibals, and decided they wanted to get rid of it(the religious right, for example, is full of such people). To this, I say good luck. What'll happen is the hardcore people will get more hardcore, and the people who dabble here and there and know it's bad will either stop or be driven underground and you'll never catch them. Then, when your campaign has no effect on the rates or rape, cannibalism, or necrophelia, and costs billions you'll be laughed out of power.

        As for videogames, those are a perversion of reality. I play a lot of videogames, but that doesn't mean I'm violent. Again, the same system is applyable. The kids who shoot at cars to see them go by real fast and are idiots, need to be taken care of. Hell, I have fun playing GTA and singing "This is how we speed up traffic, speed up traffic, speed up traffic. This is how we speed up traffic, all day looooooooooooooooooong", but I know going out and doing the same thing in real life is wrong and moreso, I hatemyself for thinking I'd enjoy it, and feel guilty for doing it in the game. The rest of us, the overwhelming majority, don't speed up traffic with an ak47 in real life. Infact it has very little effect on our society as a whole. Now, if we were all running around with guns trying to shoot eachother like in counterstrike, that's a different story entirely. If you want a good read on them, read "On killing". It was written by a former army corperal (I think) and details how videogames and television compliment help to overcome our natural impulse not to kill eachother. That is videogames' true effect besides acting as an escape from reality.
    • Publishing (Score:5, Interesting)

      by millahtime ( 710421 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:40AM (#8386362) Homepage Journal
      Does anyone know if its legal or not to publish a book on cannibalism and necrophilia with the same kind of content the web sites are showing??? In the UK and/or the US??? I know there are different laws in the different countries.

      If you can publish a book or other writing on it then I wouldn't see a problem with it on the net.
      • Re:Publishing (Score:5, Insightful)

        by back_pages ( 600753 ) <back_pages@c[ ]net ['ox.' in gap]> on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:56AM (#8386612) Journal
        I think the difference [and stress that this is an assumption] is that a book about cannibalism could at best be a documentary. The more you try to glorify eating people, the less credible you would appear.

        While the same is true of a website, you can also have chatrooms, forums, and that sort of thing. Now your fans with a common interest can meet and communicate with each other. Your website is no longer just a documentary (of whatever quality) but has become a tool to build a community of people interested in cannibalism. Some of these people might have legitimate academic interests, but you have precious little ability to control that.

        If you know a guy named FriendA who always talks about murdering blonde girls, and you set him up with FriendB who is a blonde girl, and she gets murdered, I'm pretty sure that your knowledge of FriendA and involvement in their meeting makes you criminally liable in the US and probably any industrialized nation. A website can do this but a book cannot, and I think that's the crux of the case against these extreme sites.

    • by Wellspring ( 111524 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:54AM (#8386567)
      Um, you are all aware that Britain doesn't have free speech?

      By tradition, speech isn't regulated, but the Government can and does often quash news stories it finds offensive.
      • by jabuzz ( 182671 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @12:00PM (#8386688) Homepage
        Once upon a time that was true. However the Human Rights Act changed the ground rules and we now do. On the other hand a simple Act of Parliment can take it away again in an instance.
        • by pershino ( 326342 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @01:04PM (#8387573)
          "Once upon a time that was true. However the Human Rights Act changed the ground rules and we now do. On the other hand a simple Act of Parliment can take it away again in an instance."

          And if our dear Overlord... erm Home Secretary, has his way, then the government will have the right to suspend any law they choose, including the Human Rights Act. So it will only require an 'Act of the Home Secretary' to suspend freedom of speech.

          See BBC News [bbc.co.uk] here [bbc.co.uk], here [bbc.co.uk], and here [bbc.co.uk]

          I for one welcome our new Overlord, erm Home Secretary

      • by plugger ( 450839 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @12:51PM (#8387422) Homepage
        The UK government's final sanction against publication of a story is called a 'D Notice'. This threatens closure of a publication if it publishes the offending article. Note that this cannot prevent the article being published, it just threatens punishment if the notice is ignored.

        And the UK government, whilst being comprised of lying sacks of shit, does not "often quash news stories it finds offensive". Please cite some examples if you disagree.
  • by Lord_Frederick ( 642312 ) * on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:32AM (#8386217)

    "The Internet is no place for people looking for 'perverse gratification', claims the police officer leading the UK's fight against e-crime."

    Apparently they think that anyone who is attracted to corpses should not waste their time online and go straight to the real thing!
    • The Internet is no place for people looking for 'perverse gratification', claims the police officer leading the UK's fight against e-crime.

      In what Net-less cave has this guy been living for the past 15 years anyway? The Internet is the place for perverse gratification downloaded straight into the comfort and privacy of your own home, and without the need to offend anyone else I might add. Or perhaps he meant to say "should be" instead of "is". Well, good luck cleaning up the Internet... I hope you brou

  • Oh well (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:32AM (#8386224)
    First they came for the Cannibals
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Cannibal.
    Then they came for the Necrophiliacs
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Necrophiliacs.
    Then they came for the anarchists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a trade anarchists.
    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left
    to speak out for me.
  • by karmaflux ( 148909 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:33AM (#8386227)
    The same lawbook that holds protection freedom of expression also outlaws things like necrophilia. If you walked into a morgue to get a snack, you can expect to be put in jail. If you sold books containing HOWTOs on corpse-buggery, you would, in fact, get shit-hammered by the law. This is no different. If you want to act like a retard on the internet, you're better off doing it from a country that doesn't outlaw your particular brand of idiocy.

    • Wait wait wait (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:36AM (#8386288)
      So, because something is illegal to do, you believe it should be illegal to discuss? There's a difference in describing how to cook a human for eating, and in encouraging someone to go kill someone to eat.
    • by dmayle ( 200765 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:50AM (#8386515) Homepage Journal

      WTF? Where are you from? If you go to a building, and blow it up with a bomb, you will get your ass handed to you, both in court, and in jail. If, however, you write a book about bombs, you can go about your happy way, because there is nothing illegal about writing about an act that is illegal.

      Writing a book that urges people to blow up buildings with bombs that you explain how to make, is a third issue entirely, and is, again, illegal.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:33AM (#8386234)
    We're talking about the United Kingdom here...heck..they don't even have freedom fries [cnn.com] there, how do you expect them to have freedom?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:33AM (#8386238)
    a) There is no "Freedom of expression online" - anything online is governed by regular laws in the "Real World"

    b) There is no "Freedom of expression" law in the UK - it's not a right like in the US.

    c) Yes, perhaps cracking down on the web-sites might be stupid...
    • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:38AM (#8386324) Homepage Journal
      There is no "Freedom of expression" law in the UK - it's not a right like in the US.
      Erm, the European Convention on Human Rights was written into British law in 1998. [bbc.co.uk]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:33AM (#8386239)
    What happened to freedom of expression online?

    Some psycho killed a teacher and the Daily Mail and Sun needed a good campaign. The pedophiles-infest-the-web thing wasn't working out for them lately so this is a better angle for them to whip up a bit of hysteria. Apparently the necrophiliacs and asphyxia fans infest the Intarweb just as much as the pedophiles and terrorists, much to the surprise of the newspapers and general public.

    Hysteria based on uninformed opinions; it's whats for diner!
  • by asdfasdfasdfasdf ( 211581 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:34AM (#8386249)
    The First Ammendment to the US Constitution doesn't apply internationally..
  • dry (Score:3, Funny)

    by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:34AM (#8386252) Homepage
    Hynds' statement may also anger those who believe that one of the Web's great strengths is that it accommodates such a wide range of interests, free from censorship.

    Ah, that British penchant for understatement.

  • Obvious answer (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mkro ( 644055 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:35AM (#8386257)
    What happened to freedom of expression online?

    Somehow, I think it is connected to this whole "9/11" thing. Every authoritarian politician is looking at USA's increased fascist tendencies, thinking "If THEY can do it, we can too".

    All we (who care) can do is yell. And try to make others care (and yell).
    • Re:Obvious answer (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Atzanteol ( 99067 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:48AM (#8386480) Homepage
      Yes. Because we all know that every nation that does bad things is probably only doing it beacuase the US probably did it first. So it's the United States' fault.

      Wow, *all* of the worlds problems *can* be blamed on the US! Nevermind that you insult the British people by basically calling them lap-dogs of the United States.

      But to keep on topic, I don't see why this is a terrible thing. To some extent I can see why 'just saying something' isn't illegal, but instigating others to break the law is dangerous. It's not like this is political speech, it's cannibalism!
  • by RazzleFrog ( 537054 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:35AM (#8386268)
    So did the guy who strangled the person decide to do it after visiting the necrophilia website or did he visit the website because he was already into necrophilia? I am not a big expert of necrophilia but somehow I don't think it is something you see a picture of and go - oh I liked to do that, let me go murder somebody.
    • It brings up all kinds of confusing questions. If I create a site that explains in detail how to commit suicide and someone reads the site and follows through and it works, am I to be held liable by the relatives of the person? Even though you could argue that the person had suicidal tendencies (otherwise why would they be looking at suicide instructions). Could it be argued in the courts that I was the enabler?

      What is someone puts up a site about paramilitary tactics and then a group of loonies use the
    • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @12:31PM (#8387126) Journal
      The approach that I'd like to see is twofold.

      First, the official involved pretty much grabbed a "this porn causes people to commit crimes" principle out of the air. I'm very dubious that his personal opinion (and one that isn't currently mine) should be weighty enough to merit instituting censorship.

      Second, I don't understand why the official can't do the standard thing that I'd like to see pro-censorship advocates do. If the official really thinks that porn of a particular variety is bad, why doesn't he, instead of simply suppressing it, explain his reasoning. If he really is (a) correct in his reasoning and (b) the value systems of others are similar to his own (and I don't think that he should be trying to govern their actions if his are different from the masses), then his explanation should institute a similar opinion in others, and "innoculate" them against the cannibalistic necrophilia meme.

      Consider what the official has claimed. Images of porn cause criminality. That's a pretty severe allegation. He's claiming not just correlation (which would seem quite reasonable to me) but causality, which doesn't seem reasonable at all.

      If the official really thinks that images are so influential, why do the English have James Bond? He frequently endangers others recklessly, destroys property, ignores military and government authority, etc. I don't see the mass of Britons running out and trying to blow up ships.

      Heck, video games are plausibly even more influential -- you take *on the role* of someone. How many FPSes are there where you take out a gun and start shooting people? Most of 'em. You don't follow police rules for requirements on when to shoot, you simply try to end lives, frequently of almost anything that moves. Why aren't there masses of shootings in Britain if violent video games, so apparently much more influential, have failed to convince people to commit murder? Is it because the censors have made the blood in the games green? Is it because images really *don't* affect people to the degree that the British official assumed?

      I personally feel that if there's someone with a necrophilia and cannibalism fetish, but that they recognize it and can have said fetish without running out and engaging in it (and there are a hell of a lot of fetishes and fantasies out there that don't get followed up on, like making love to a actress or whatnot), there doesn't seem to be much reason to try to force them underground.

      Remember when the British thought that homosexuality was awful, deviant sexual behavior that needed to be corrected? Turing (a major player in *saving* many British asses from death, and a person that is now considered a pretty wronged great man) had his security clearance revoked, was forced to take hormone injections and modify his behavior, and was eventually driven to suicide.

      People that buy peppy sports cars cause a *hell* of a lot more deaths each year than people that have cannibalism fetishes. Should peppy sports cars be banned in favor of station wagons? More human lives would be saved, and that's the only really convincing factor that I can think of.
  • by Brad Mace ( 624801 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:36AM (#8386279) Homepage
    The more time they spend working on some website no one's ever going to look at, the less time they have for actually *doing* weird creepy stuff. I say 'leave their websites alone.'
  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:36AM (#8386281)
    Here in the USA, we have a big fuss over seeing one female breast exposed on national TV. Meanwhile, in London there's a newspaper that makes a point of publishing a photo of a topless model on one of the first few pages.

    In parts of Europe, pro-Nazi material that we're willing to tolerate in the USA is absolutely forbiden, particularly in the places that were invaded during World War II. We can write off Nazis as political loonies, but those places feel terror when the topic is brought up since they saw it first hand.

    So, what's taboo here might be fine there, and what's taboo there might be fine here. It's one of the problems that the Internet runs into as the first truely global medium.
  • better hope (Score:3, Insightful)

    by musikit ( 716987 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:36AM (#8386290)
    we better hope no one from slashdot commits a high profile murder 'cause then law enforcement will ask that all website related to Linux and anti-Microsoft ways and conspiracy theories be taken down/blocked because only a murderer would be into high technology, equal rights and the belief that only people who publish their source code have nothing to hide.
  • It doesn't exist, get over it.

    In case you hadn't noticed different countries have different standards of what's considered "acceptable" behavior:

    In the US it's acceptable for the government to kill people who have be convicted of certain crimes if sentenced to death by a court.

    In France it's acceptable for a TV ad for shower gel to show a naked woman soaping her breasts.

    In Iran it's acceptable for women to be stoned to death for adultery.

    So web sites should be no different. If in the UK it's considered unacceptable to have these types of sites then it's OK for the UK to not wanted them hosted there.

    It might go against your "First Amendment" nirvana principles, but try this one out in the US to test "your rights online": start a free web site with pictures of child pornography; I think you'll find that that's considered unacceptable in the US.

  • by LittleGuy ( 267282 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:37AM (#8386313)
    Britain's top hi-tech police officer has demanded a crackdown on Web sites devoted to 'abhorrent' subjects such as cannibalism and necrophilia.

    burp..... [amazon.co.uk]
  • by RevDobbs ( 313888 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:38AM (#8386325) Homepage
    "For it [the Internet] to continue to grow as a mainstream medium for businesses, education and entertainment, it must design out the minority factors that inhabit cyberspace for their own perverse gratification," Hynds added.

    I cringed when I read that. Everyday the internet is becoming more of a corperate-controlled broadcast medium.

  • come on! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bmac ( 51623 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:41AM (#8386364) Journal
    There must be accountability on the web. Period.

    And not every permutation and combination of human desire *should* be expressed. Yes, we must have the freedom to express political dissent, but, for crying out loud, if there's not going to be self-restraint, then the restraint has to come from somewhere else. And, sure, I'd rather not the govt be doing this, but are you going to put your ps2 controller down to solve the problems of pedophilia and terrorism?


    Peace & Blessings,
    • Re:come on! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Frennzy ( 730093 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @12:10PM (#8386841) Homepage
      Cool! It was only a matter of time before someone linked necro/cannibal fantasy websites with paedophilia and Terrorism!

      The big bad terrorists are brainwashing folks via necrophilia sites! Doomed! We're all doomed!

      This whole argument is ridiculous, telling me I can't express whatever the fuck I want on my own website. This isn't child porn. This is a *fantasy* fulfillment, for people with admittedly deviant tastes.

      This issue is moot though...just because some 72 yo gramma in the UK wants someone to "crack down" on a "bad things" to "protect us" from "them", doesn't mean squat. If they want to force a webmaster's ISP to shut him down, he can be back up and running in minutes on a more business savvy and less intrusive host in another country.

      Say it with me...there is not, and has never been, any conclusive proof that *viewing* fantasy material forces someone to *act* in mimicry of said material.

      I don't see any links here, so how can you say what, exactly, anyone did or did not view? Did Ozzie make that kid kill himself? Do people really have sex with dead people after listening to The Beatles backwards?

      Knee-jerk reactionism is not the answer to life's problems, people. Bad things happen, and frequently they happen to good people. This does not mean that you or anyone else has a right to tell me how to live, within a reasonable expectation. I leave you alone, I'd appreciate the same courtesy.

      Now excuse me while I go watch an episode of the Sopranos, followed by Sex in the City. I then plan on going out and killing some people, gangland style, followed by some nice hot sex with wealthy, Urban-chic chicks.
  • What are laws for? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Serious Simon ( 701084 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:45AM (#8386434)
    There may be limits to the freedom of expression, but they are, and must be, regulated by law.

    If the contents on a website are illegal, then it must be shut down. If the contents on a web site are considered extremely objectional, but if they are not illegal, then the police should simply leave it alone.

    This guy may be applauded for trying to make "the Internet a more law-abiding place" as long he remembers it's not for him to define "law-abiding".

  • Freedom? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by back_pages ( 600753 ) <back_pages@c[ ]net ['ox.' in gap]> on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:49AM (#8386493) Journal
    This could very easily be unpopular, but I really don't understand why "freedom of speech" needs to protect obviously dangerous elements of society. Unpopular political comments - yes. Unpopular civil rights issues - yes. Unpopular labor or global commerce issues - yes. Taboo (sexual) medical conditions - yes. Necrophilia? No. Cannibalism? No. Sites that feature these as popular topics provide no real service to anyone yet they can easily be used as tools to commit a crime. There is a recent German case where two people hooked up through a cannibalism fantasy website - now one of them is poop and the other is in jail. Nice, real nice.

    If the site serves a legitimate positive purpose then I'd give it some leeway. Whether you agree or not, there is some argument for pro-gun sites that relates to open source code. Not an extremely strong argument, mind you, but if you know that the SWAT team is using a SIG-551 and you can only muster an MAC-10, maybe you'll stay at home. I'm not even entirely convinced that all pro-gun sites should be protected (and I am generally pro-guns) but at least you can sort of say that there is some type of benefit provided by those sites.

    Necrophilia? For God's sake, this is, in my non-professional opinion, not a sexual preference but a symptom of some psychological problems. A necrophilia fan website is not far removed from giving heroin to a junkie - it's what he wants but it's not going to help him.

    I like freedom of speech. I don't think that harmful speech that serves no purpose but to facilitate violent crimes needs to be protected. If the cannibalism and necrophilia website fans disagree with me, then let them produce a website that promotes dealing with these fetishes and becoming productive members of society rather than glorify violent crimes - that I would gladly see protected by freedom of speech.

  • by somethingwicked ( 260651 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:50AM (#8386512)
    I hope everyone takes this VERY seriously.

    Sit down some day and actually TALK to a victim of cannibalism or necrophilia.

    The things they tell you will change you forever
  • by Burb ( 620144 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @11:50AM (#8386525)
    By putting the word "abhorrent" in speech marks the poster suggests that these practices are somehow merely borderline or even acceptable. This may well be the way that aliens on the planet zzzorg behave, but I think I'm on safe ground when I say that the vast majority of humanity thinks otherwise. Even the good ol US of A.

    Honestly, when did the internet become a haven of free speech? It never did and never will do because it's an international medium. Now, I'm a UK citizen and I'm 100% happy for my national laws to be used to shut down such a site.

    What is free speech? I live in a democracy that allows me, should I so wish, to *campaign* for the legalisation for necrophilia. I can talk to anyone and everyone about it. If I can convince voters and lawmakers that it's OK, then I get my wish. If not, tough. It would remain illegal and I would have to accept the consequences of that. Free speech allows me to campaign for changes to the law, but it doesn't allow me to flaunt the laws I don't like.

  • UK != US (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ReadParse ( 38517 ) <john@fuCOBOLnnycow.com minus language> on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @03:47PM (#8389867) Homepage
    What happened to freedom of expression online?

    What do you think the K stands for in UK? "States"? There are freedoms similar to those of the United States all over the world, but that similarity doesn't mean squat without a constitution that expressly grants us rights that most of the rest of the world do not have.

    The European Convention on Human Rights of 1950 extended free expression to the citizenry of the signing countries, but there are many limitations to that "free" expression:

    "The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or the rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary." (bold added by RP)

    Thanks, but I prefer the US Constitution.

  • I love this quote: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Wednesday February 25, 2004 @04:13PM (#8390169) Journal
    " "For it [the Internet] to continue to grow as a mainstream medium for businesses, education and entertainment, it must design out the minority factors that inhabit cyberspace for their own perverse gratification," Hynds added."

    Exactly! That's what I've been saying for years! The internet isn't for public use, it's just a new source of advertising for businesses and the entertainment industry. Power to the... um, big business!

    Next let's burn the encyclopedia and dictionary! I bet there's definitions for cannibalism and necrophilia in there. God forbid anyone educate themselves, ain't be no learnin' on dis hur inturnet.

    Jeez, before you know it they'll be taking away the guns and putting video cameras on every street corner.... oh, wait, this is britian, isn't it?

"The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception a neccessity." - Oscar Wilde